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Friday, June 11, 2010

On April 21, 2010, I sent an e-mail to the Mayor, Chief of Police and all City Commissioners of Dothan, Alabama:

Further to a report in the April 20, 2010 edition of the Dothan Eagle entitled “Police selling old tasers for public safety use only,” you may be interested to know that, in Canada, it was reported last weekend that our national police force – the RCMP – destroyed and/or pulled hundred of tasers *out of service* after laboratory tests found that they were not functioning properly. 149 M26s and 60 X26s from across the country did not perform within specifications.

Before you consider donating and/or selling your older stock of tasers to other law enforcement agencies, it is imperative that you have the units laboratory tested to ensure that they *are* functioning properly. Otherwise, I suggest that the city of Dothan could indeed be faced with potential liability issues. Please see:
Hundreds of faulty RCMP Tasers destroyed or pulled

I signed my name at the bottom of the e-mail followed by

Owner of http://truthnottasers.blogspot.com/

TODAY, I visited the City of Dothan website and found the Minutes of the May 4, 2010 Board of Commissioners meeting, which addressed the city's liability for these old tasers in the following manner:

Mayor Schmitz introduced Resolution No. 2010-134 (recorded in Ordinance Book
No._______at Page_______), declaring one hundred and ten (110) M26 Tasers as obsolete and no longer needed for public or municipal purposes and authorizing the sell, exchange or donation of the said Tasers. Commissioner Reading moved for adoption, motion seconded by Commissioner Barbaree. Commissioner Seagle said we have received communication from other companies saying in other cases cities have had to retain some liability for passing this on. He asked if we are protected from any liability that may remain attached to these Tasers. Police Chief Benton stated that the only liability we would have is if we do not tell the recipients of the Tasers that they had to get training on the Tasers. Commissioner Newsome asked how we hold anyone who buys these Tasers through GovDeals to that standard. Chief Benton said they would have to sign the waiver of liability and there would be certain restrictions set out on GovDeals. There being no further discussion the resolution was unanimously adopted.

TO WHICH I SAY: Dear City of Dothan: Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. You really haven't been following along, have you?


Police selling old Tasers for public safety use
By Debbie Ingram
Published: April 20, 2010
Updated: April 21, 2010
» 1 Comment Post a Comment

The Dothan Police Department is planning to dispose of more than 100 obsolete Tasers through donation and direct sale to other law enforcement agencies.

A Taser is an electroshock weapon most often used by police to subdue dangerous or fleeing suspects. The Taser, manufactured by Taser International, uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles.

The department currently owns 110 Police M26 Tasers, which were purchased in 2003 and 2004 at about $400 each. Those Tasers are no longer used since the department upgraded to X26 models in September 2006, but they are still usable.

Police plan to donate 30 used Tasers to the Dothan Police Auxiliary Unit, six to the Dothan-Houston County Airport Police and keep 10 for exchange on 10 new X26 models.

The remaining 64 Tasers will be sold to area law enforcement agencies at $100 each. If not sold after 60 days, they will be offered to other agencies on Govdeals.com.

City Manager Mike West said parts can no longer be obtained for the old models, but they are still in demand from other departments which cannot afford to purchase new Tasers. The city has received several calls from area law enforcement agencies interested in purchasing the Tasers.

One city commissioner asked if they might end up in the hands of private citizens and if there are any liability issues for the city.

Police Chief Greg Benton said the police Tasers can only be sold to certified law enforcement agencies. The city attorney said the city has no liability on the equipment, once sold. City commissioners are expected to approve the disposal at their May 4 meeting.

The use of Tasers has become controversial following instances of excessive Taser use in some areas of the country. Some use has resulted in serious injury and death. The newest Taser introduced last year, the X3, can subdue three suspects without reloading.

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